As Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service firefighters don’t want to be uninvited guests over the festive period they have produced a Christmas Crib Calendar with 12 helpful messages to keep families and loved ones safe.

Christmas is a time for celebration and decoration but all increase the danger of fire in the home.

Head of prevention Nick Evans explained: “It’s so easy to forget amidst all the festivities that tree lights and decorations present fire risks. We’re asking people to take five minutes to have a look at our safety tips to help ensure that this holiday season is one to remember for all the right reasons.”

The Christmas cribs advise everyone to:

1. Check Christmas tree lights conform to the British Standard

2. Never place candles near Christmas trees or furnishings

3. Make a fire escape plan and make sure family and visitors know what to do in an emergency

4. Don’t attach decorations to lights or heaters, they can burn easily

5. Never overload electrical sockets and always switch off and unplug Christmas lights before going to bed or going out

6. Take care when cooking after drinking alcohol as the risk of accidents, especially in the kitchen, is greater after alcohol is consumed.

7. Never leave cooking unattended - most fires start in the kitchen

8. Take care with fireworks, store them in a metal box, read the instructions, never go back to a lit firework and keep a bucket of water nearby

9. Make sure cigarettes are completely out before going to bed

10. Check smoke alarm batteries every week and use Christmas as a reminder to clean it and remove dust

11. Keep candles, lighters and matches out of reach of children and never leave burning candles unattended

12. Take time to check on elderly relatives and neighbours to make sure they are fire safe

The service will also be using social media to get the messages out to the community, using #12Days.

Nick added: “Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas and New Year and we urge everyone to follow our Christmas cribs. There’s only one red vehicle we want landing at people’s houses this Christmas, and that’s Santa’s sleigh, not a fire engine with a fire crew in it!”

For more Christmas safety information visit